The Far Right in France

Since the late 19th century, French politics has provided a testing ground for right-wing populism.

Antisemitic riots in Algiers, 1898-99 © Bridgeman Images.
On 8 May 1898, 54-year-old Édouard Drumont won the seat of Algiers with a crushing majority of 11,557 votes against 2,328. One of four victorious right-wing candidates in the city who had all campaigned on an antisemitic platform, he was carried shoulder-high by an emotional crowd, joyful at the dramatic breakthrough of Drumont’s popular ethnic nationalism. But his victory went against the national trend. Overall the national result ushered in a period of rule dominated by moderate republicans, radicals and socialists, who embarked on an anti-clerical programme that climaxed with the separation of Church and state in 1905. 

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